Annual Andrew Jackson Marathon Draws Hundreds

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JACKSON, Tenn. — The 42nd Annual Andrew Jackson Marathon is more than just a Boston Marathon Qualifier. For Jimmy Ray Cordell Jr., who lost his eyesight to brain damage nearly 40 years ago, running the 5K leg of the race was a chance to prove he’s capable of anything. “I’m the person that tries to accomplish stuff when people say I can’t accomplish stuff,” Cordell said. “I do stuff to prove to people just because I’m blind I can do it.” The race, which also included a half marathon, is the oldest marathon in Tennessee. Runners crossed the start line beginning at 7 Saturday morning and pounded the pavement around Union University for up to 26.2 miles. Cordell, a resident at Madison Haywood Developmental Services, had company along the way. Workers at the center said they were with him every step of the way. “You got the confidence, you got the determination, you got the ability to do it son go for it,” Cordell said. “So I said ‘get me on the list’.” Cordell wasn’t the only one making strides Saturday morning. Jackson Energy Authority or, Team JEA, had 116 runners participate in the race as a way to promote fitness on the job. “We want to keep our costs down for our medical dental, we want our employees to be happier,” Chrissy Vandiver said, a Team JEA runner. “And so if you’re healthier you’re happier.” Proceeds from the race benefit the Exchange-Club Carl Perkins Center for the prevention of child abuse. The Bicentennial Exchange Club puts on the Andrew Jackson Marathon every year.

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